• January 24, 2016


The last couple of weeks has seen a barrage of hate towards the Scottish Gaelic language unleashed by the so called UK press. Exposing themselves once again as the mouthpieces of Greater English nationalism. The focus of their wrath most recently has been aimed at Bòrd naGàidhlig, the body which manages Gaelic policies for the Scottish government and the communities which speak it. Bòrd na Gàidhlig is criticised because they advertised for a tender for a team of linguistic specialists to carry out research and development into supporting and growing the indigenous language of Scotland. Which is exactly what they should be doing, but of course it goes against the grain for the Anglophone bigots.

It needs to be remembered that there are only six Celtic languages spoken in the world today: Breton, Cornish, Scottish Gaelic, Irish, Manx and Welsh. For centuries there has been a systematic campaign to destroy the native languages of the Celtic lands. There use was banned in schools and work places by brutal means. In the case of Brittany it was demonstrated at the time of the French revolution when AbbéGregoire (1794) in his report on the necessity of universalising the French language, wrote that: “…..Breton and Basque, represent the barbarism of centuries past and need to be obliterated and replaced by standard French.” It persisted through to the French Minister of Education’s statement of intent in 1925 that: “For the linguistic unity of France, the Breton language must disappear.” Onwards to the offensive official warning signs that appeared in schools in the 1950s declaring: “No spitting on the ground or speaking Breton.” Echoing the 1925 statement in 1972, George Pompidou, who was President of France at the time, said that there was no place for regional languages in France.

The French establishment would still be happy to see the eradication of the Breton language. As seen by The French Government’s refusal to ratify the “The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages”, thus trying to deprive Breton speakers of the rights and privileges protected by the Charter. In the other Celtic lands, as demonstrated by the recent attacks on Scottish Gaelic, is whipped up the UK press in attack-stories on any kind of support for language rights and education, road signs, specific policies and funding. These campaigns are politically driven and have to be opposed.

There are concerted efforts being made in the six Celtic nations to promote and save their endangered languages. There are also groups of speakers and learners throughout the world, often the descendants of those who left their Celtic homelands many years ago. It is important to join in the effort to save and promote these languages wherever you are. We must reject and expose the attackers of our languages and expose them for the bigots that they are.

Submitted by Douglas MacQueen (Scotland)


Issued by: The Celtic News



The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues


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